In the upcoming 90th meeting for the Territorial Cup, the Arizona State Sun Devils will look to build off of last year’s 52-37 against the Arizona Wildcats.
The Wildcats have a slight advantage over the Sun Devils as they lead the series, 48-40-1. But, even though it will be an away game for the Devils, it doesn’t necessarily mean much to them. Dating back to the 2000 season, Arizona State has won in Tucson five times in eight meetings.
There have been some pretty epic games between the two schools since they first started playing against each other in 1899.
The latest came in 2012, when #13 ASU came to Tucscon to play #12 UofA. After a back-and-forth affair, the Sun Devils had one play to keep the game alive. Down 42-35, back-up quarterback Mike Bercovici faced a fourth-and-twelve on the Wildcats 38-yard line with just a few minutes on the clock. The pass fell incomplete, and the Rich Rodriguez’s Wildcats went on to win the game, as well as the Pac-12 South.
And then there was 2010. The Devils took the #23 ranked Wildcats into two overtimes, leading 30-23 with Arizona threatening to tie the game. Nick Foles connected with David Douglas for a 9-yard score, making it a 30-29 game. On the attempted game-tying PAT from kicker Alex Zendejas, ASU’s James Brooks blocked it, and capped off an incredible double-OT upset win.
If you’re a fan of ASU or UofA football, there hasn’t been much to celebrate this season. Todd Graham’s Devils are 5-6, while Rich Rod’s Wildcats sit at an ugly 2-9. No matter what their records may be, the Territorial Cup almost always ensures good football between the two teams. Since 2004-12, the final score had been decided by less than fourteen points in eight out of the nine games. The only outlier came in 2010, when the Wildcats won 31-10.
The rivalry has been intact and remained exciting for years thanks to the back-and-forth play between both teams. In the last eight games the series is split, with both teams victorious four times.
This isn’t a match-up that has the build-up like #3 Michigan at #2 Ohio State, but it ought to be. Whenever the Territorial Cup is on the line, both teams throw everything out the window and focus entirely on beating their hated rivals.